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Paterson already talking of Senate GOP control

ALBANY –- Gov. David Paterson today sounded close to throwing in the towel on the Democrats’ chances to hold onto the state Senate.

Indeed, Paterson today already was lining up ways the Senate Republicans could help the incoming governor, Andrew Cuomo.

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has already declared victory in the fight to re-take control of the 62-member Senate. He said Republicans will win re-counts in Buffalo and Nassau County to push the GOP into the majority after two years out of power.

“I would say it is probable that Senator Skelos is right, that he will be the majority leader of the Senate in 2011," Paterson said on WOR radio this morning in New York.

When the discussion flipped to whether a GOP-led Senate will be better for Cuomo, Paterson noted the Republicans did not jump to help him in 2008 with efforts to cut state spending. He noted the Senate Democrats also left the job un-done last year, forcing the state into a cash flow crisis.

“A pox on both their houses," Paterson said of Senate Democrats and Republicans.

But, he added, “Where I think the Senate Republicans can join with the governor, and hopefully the Assembly Democrats, is to start letting these special interests know that everybody is going to make sacrifices this time.’’

Talking as if the Senate GOP control is a sure thing, the governor added, “If the Senate Republicans and the new governor take that new attitude the bipartisan push would be far more powerful than one party trying to do it."

Senate Democrats disputed Paterson's political theories. "The Governor is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Once every vote is counted, it will be clear Democrats have retained the Majority," said Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

-- Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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